There’s no better feeling than when you bust out a brand new pickleball and give it a few taps into the air before a game. The feeling of knowing that you have a new ball that’ll bounce true and play fast gives you a boost of confidence. While it’s a great feeling, it does raise a few questions.
- When should a player change out a ball?
- How long is the lifespan of a pickleball?
- How can I tell when my pickleball is toast?
Unfortunately, there aren’t always clear and concrete answers to these questions but we’re here to provide a few tips. Let's get started!
How to tell when a pickleball needs to be replaced?
The best way to tell if a ball needs to be replaced is simply your instinct. If you feel the ball has slowed down significantly, doesn’t have the same “pop,” or is not responding the way it did when it was “younger,” it might be time to grab a new one. Another good way to tell if the ball is deformed is to gently spin the ball into the air using your hand. By doing this, you should be able to see if the ball is slightly dented and no longer round. If you see it spin in a way a round ball wouldn’t, it’s time to toss it into the trash!
Curious which pickleballs you should be using? Read our article on Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs!
How long will the average pickleball last?
The average lifespan of a pickleball is as easy to find as the square root of -1. (It can’t be done!) These plastic balls are manufactured well but at the end of the day, they are met with many different elements in their lifetime. How old are they, how long did they sit in Johnny’s bag, did a young buck smash serves and overheads with it, or did a super-finesse player dink it for a game or two before calling it quits? There are so many factors that play into a ball’s lifespan but on average, a pickleball seems to last for 3-5 games at max performance before it’s ‘recommended’ to be switched out. Can it last longer, sure! Does it sometimes crack or dent before that, you betcha! Just remember to trust your gut and when you feel the ball has lost its juice, it’s time to switch it up! Plus, when you do this, you can always blame the ball for all of your missed shots!
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